Socialist Worker

State censorship is no solution to pornography

Issue No. 2363

Pornography objectifies women. In some cases it portrays violent abuse including assaults on children. 

It is a symptom of a society where women are treated as second class citizens and their bodies are treated like pieces of meat. 

David Cameron proudly flaunted his “victory” over internet barons and pornographers last week. 

But it wasn’t what it claimed to be—and it is dangerous.

Access to porn involving children is already illegal and controlled.

Cameron’s change is that when you sign up to a new internet provider, the box to agree to block access will be pre-ticked. 

The internet providers wanted both the yes and no boxes empty. That is what all the fuss is about. 

The move is dangerous because it legitimises bans on search terms and government censorship. 

Socialists are against state censorship. Whatever strengthens the state’s hand can be used as a weapon against our side. 

Do we really want the Tories to decide what is acceptable? 

The 1959 Obscene Publications act was often used against portrayals of gay sex—what  the establishment then saw as likely to “deprave”. 

Cameron is no defender of women’s rights.

He is using this debate to distract us from the real issues of lobbyists, austerity and the unpopularity of his government. 

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What We Think
Tue 23 Jul 2013, 16:10 BST
Issue No. 2363
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